Planning a trip to India? Prepare to broaden your world perspective as you explore this beautiful country in South Asia, full of history and spiritual traditions that date back millennia. Widely known for its diverse cultures, stunning architecture and culinary delights, this destination is also easy on the wallet. Here are some fast facts to know before you go:

  • With a population of over 1.2 billion people, India is the second-most populous country in the world after China. It is the seventh-largest country by land area.
  • Top sights include the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Ellora Caves, the ancient city of Varanasi and the beaches of Goa. Don’t miss the cities of Jaipur, Mysore, and Delhi, where the capital New Delhi is located.
  • The best time to visit India is from October to March, as the main monsoon or rainy season spans from June to September.
  • When in India, always use your right hand to eat, shake hands, pass an object and otherwise interact with people. The left hand is considered unclean.
  • While Hindi and English are the most spoken languages in India, more than 20 languages have official status at the state or territory level including Bengali, Urdu and Punjabi. In total, several hundred languages are spoken in the country.
  • You can usually get by using English in major cities and tourist areas, but some useful Hindi phrases are namaste (pronounced ‘namastay’, meaning ‘hello’), kripaya (‘kripya’, meaning ‘please’), dhanyavad (‘dhanya-vaad’ = ‘thank you’), and alvida (‘alvida’ = ‘goodbye’).

Find out more important information ahead of your trip in the articles below.